Cryptocurrency 101: What it is, and The Risks it Bears

Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class that has been all the rage, drawing enthusiasts and sceptics alike. Traded on black markets and mainstream exchanges, their scope is wide. They became a speculative tool that has given some overnight riches, and driven others into massive debt. Some governments have attempted to draw up legislation to regulate it, while others have cracked down on its proponents. It’s the Wild West of the investment world. Here is a breakdown about what cryptocurrency is, and the risks to watch out for.

First, the Basics: Breaking Down What Cryptocurrency Is

You’ve probably heard of Bitcoin by now. It was the first cryptocurrency, and its success has spawned over 5,000 other variations, each with their target purposes, metrics and demerits. More keep popping up every other day. 

Cryptocurrency by nature is a digital payment system. However, unlike the conventional modes that you’re used to that involve banks, this system relies on cryptography and peer-to-peer transactions that allow anyone on the planet to send and receive payments. It got its name because of the encryption that is used to verify transactions. The payments made are digital entries on an online database called a blockchain, that keeps a record of all transactions to have ever been made for that particular cryptocurrency. This blockchain is basically a public ledger. The nature of these operations gives the cryptocurrencies specific characteristics, including:

  • Anonymity

The accounts and transactions on the blockchain are not tied to real-world identities. However, the level of anonymity varies. For instance, transacting with Bitcoin is like an author writing under a pseudonym—and if anyone ever links the pseudonym to the author’s identity, then every transaction can then be linked to the person involved. On the other hand, with cryptocurrencies like Monero, transactions are far much more difficult to trace due to the use of ring signatures and stealth addresses which are primarily used to give the users privacy, even concealing the transaction amount.

  • Portability

Being digital assets, they are easy to move around. The cryptocurrency is stored in a digital wallet, from desktop and mobile apps, to hardware and paper wallets. They are the equivalent of your bank account, allowing you to receive, track and send the coins. The wallets contain the private keys, which are secret codes allowing you to spend the coins. Technically, the coins themselves don’t need to be stored, but instead it’s the private keys giving you access to the cryptocurrency. So basically, the wallet is an app that manages the private keys.

  • Fungibility

The crypto assets of the same type can be interchanged with each other, with equal value between them. i.e. 1 Bitcoin = 1 Bitcoin, in the same way as 1 dollar = 1 dollar. This enables the cryptocurrencies to be used as a medium of exchange. 

  • Secure

Cryptography is powerful, all thanks to the magic of big numbers. The blockchain that a cryptocurrency runs on uses volunteers around the world, working together to encrypt the transactions. The users are assigned private keys, which allows the owner access to the cryptocurrency. The key is a long 256-bit string of random numbers and letters jumbled together. This is paired with a public address where the user can receive crypto payments from others. The public key is 256 bits as well, and the wallet address is 160 bits long. We’ll delve more into this later.

  • Irreversible

You know how you can issue a chargeback on your credit card and have the funds restored to your bank account? That can’t happen with cryptocurrencies. Once you make your transaction, there is no turning back. You cannot go and demand for your money to be restored, and no government or regulatory can force a transaction to be reversed. 

Cryptocurrency Risks: Key Issues To Watch Out For
  • Loss of confidence

This presents a critical business risk. The worth of a particular cryptocurrency is determined by the value placed on it by market participants through the transactions made— a “willing buyer/willing seller” scenario. Unlike ordinary (fiat) currencies, they are not backed by any central bank. They are also not pegged to an underlying asset like gold or commodity, and neither do they come bearing seals of approval from national and international organisations. Loss of confidence—perhaps due to reports of fraud or systemic risks discovered in the particular blockchain may result in a collapse of the cryptocurrency’s trading activities, and a consequent drop in value. 

An event that swept through the crypto industry was the crash of the BitConnect Coin (BCC), which dove by a staggering 97%, from its highs of $322 to lows of $6.09 in less than a day after the company behind it closed its lending and exchange company. The firm, which operated like the typical run-of-the-mill Ponzi scheme, had received cease and desist letters from the Texas State Securities Board and the North Carolina Secretary of State Securities Division, which led to it shutting down operations. These actions led to individuals taking monumental hits and families losing their life savings. The exit scam saw an estimated loss of around $250 million.

  • Fraud

The cryptocurrency sphere is fraught with fraud. Criminal activity targeting individual users and entire exchanges are an everyday phenomenon. Hackers gaining access into crypto exchanges and draining user wallets, cases of personal computers being infected with malware to steal an individual’s cryptocurrency- reports are all around. Spoofing and phishing attacks are prevalent, bringing about the need to exercise more care when it comes to personal computer security systems. 

Take the events that happened to one Eric Savics for instance. On June 12th, the Protocol Podcast host tweeted about how he lost his entire Bitcoin savings that had been accumulated over the course of 7 years. This was after he downloaded an imposter KeepKey app from the Google Chrome store and entered the seed phrase wallet. At the time of the loss, he had 12 bitcoin, worth over $110,000.

Cryptocurrency trading typically involves unregulated companies, many of which may have not implemented proper internal controls to protect the users—making them more susceptible to cyber-attacks compared to the regulated financial institutions. In 2019 alone, a record 12 exchanges were hacked, and $292,665,886 worth of cryptocurrency stolen, in addition to over 500,000 user logins. Even Binance, the world’s largest exchange by volume, fell victim to this, losing over 7,000 bitcoins after the hackers took advantage of a vulnerability in its hot wallet to obtain user API keys, 2FA codes and other bits the customers’ KYC data, which included photo IDs of 10,000 Binance users. The exchange shut its deposit and withdrawal services over a week as it beefed up its security protocols.

While the irreversible nature of cryptocurrency transactions is a strength, during cases of fraud it presents a huge operational risk. There won’t be an oversight body that you can call or email to reverse the transaction. Recover of stolen cryptocurrencies is difficult. When the private keys to a wallet are fraudulently obtained and the funds transferred, then the whole amount is considered to be forever lost to the owner.

Due to the large number of high-value crypto heists being witnessed, wealthy cryptocurrency investors are going to great lengths to secure their stash, including using cold storage devices that are housed in vaults and bunkers. Yes, not every cryptocurrency investor will be in a position to afford this level of security, but there are still steps they can take at a personal level to secure their private keys and ward off cyber threats.

  • Plain forgetfulness and human error

Having your cryptocurrency and lacking access to it because of blunders like spilling coffee on your hard disk and damaging it can be frustrating. Sometimes the risk is simple password amnesia. Forgetting where you stored your private key, or the pin unlocking that file you had jotted it down on—they can all result in the total loss of your cryptocurrency hoard. Well, there are some fortunate cases, such as 50 Cent who made some album sales back in 2014 that were paid in bitcoin—which he forgot, only to remember it much later. It turns out that he had received over 700 bitcoins for it, discovering the bounty years later, just in time to cash in millions of dollars. 

  • $5 Wrench Attack

One of the reasons why crypto investors insist on privacy and using pseudonyms is the possibility of physical attacks. An armed robber with a $5 dollar wrench can access your bitcoin stash in minutes—he just has to beat the private key out of you. The louder you proclaim that you have bitcoin, the larger the target you make yourself, especially with the rising prices of the cryptocurrencies. In addition to maintaining strong privacy, separating the keys geographically with a multi-signature setup is beneficial. Give each key its own security controls in order to further limit the physical access. This is beneficial as it disincentives attackers, since it will take longer to get to the keys and increases their chances of getting caught in the act. It is also riskier for the attacker to kidnap you and ferry you around to different locations without attracting attention. Moreover, with keys stored in different locations, it will be impossible to simultaneously gain access. Having to first coerce you to reveal the locations creates a roadblock in their plans. 

  • Ransomware and extortion

There is an increase in “big game hunting“. Basically, attackers are upping the ante from low-volume campaigns to high-return attacks. Here, instead of spending lots of time on millions of individuals on the internet, they focus their attention to a handful of businesses and organisations. These cyber-threats force companies to fork out millions in ransom due to their operations being disrupted, in order to save themselves from serious losses. Reports of a cyber-attack incident on a firm can be detrimental to the image that customers have about the business, and attract penalties due to breach-of-privacy and data loss. The attackers then use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as the mode of payment of choice, given their anonymity and irreversibly.

  • Misplacing your private key

Lose your private key and you might as well come to terms with the fact that you’ve lost the funds forever. This is due to the sheer impossibility of cracking a private key. It’s such a long shot that it’s basically like counting to infinity— you never really get there. Why is this?

Let’s get back to the power of big numbers. As mentioned, a private key is a 256-bit number. So, the right key is anywhere between 1 and 2^256, which is 115 quattuorvigintillion (a 78-digit number). If we’re being specific about it:

2^256 = 115,792,089,237,316,195,423,570,985,008,687,907,853,269,984,665,640,564,039,457,584,007,913,129,639,936

That’s a really big number: 1.158 x 10^77. For perspective: There is estimated to be 7.5 x 10^18 grains of sand on Earth. In the whole observable universe, there are an estimated 10 x 10^23 stars and 10^78 to 10^82 atoms

Attempting to crack the key would be a wild goose chase, taking more time than is possible to wrap one’s mind around. Let’s draw from a user Coin-1, who crunched numbers on the possibility of cracking one address at a rate of 9 million bitcoin-addresses per second (approximately 223 BTC-addresses per second). Brute-forcing it would take 2160-23 = 2137 seconds—which is over septillion (1024) years, yet the universe itself is only 13.8 billion years old.

As such, it is paramount that you secure your private key. Once it’s lost, it’s irretrievable. Take the story of one James Howells for instance. The Wales IT technician accidentally disposed of his hard drive, which had the private keys to his 7,500 bitcoins. Without a backup of his private keys, he can’t access the cryptocurrency. So today, somewhere out there at a random landfill site, lies a hard disk with over $67 million worth of bitcoin, and he can’t retrieve it. His story is similar to many around the world, with an estimated 20% of all bitcoin having been lost.

  • Market risks

This boils down to the supply/demand cycles of the cryptocurrencies, given their limited nature and manipulation by interested parties. This makes the markets volatile, which is exacerbated by speculative demand—there today, gone tomorrow, and hoarding that affects liquidity. It is common for cryptocurrencies to rise and drop by hundreds and thousands of dollars in a span of hours. 

  • Regulatory and compliance risks

For individual businesses getting into the murky waters of the cryptocurrency world, there will be additional costs when it comes to regulatory risk compliance. There is a keen focus on adherence to anti-money laundering and privacy laws at a business and global level, with numerous checks and balances. Failing to comply with local and state laws will cause the business owners to find themselves getting into the cross-hairs of jurisdictional law enforcement agencies, who will be coming with their own agenda. 

Final thoughts

Cryptocurrency is here to stay. As technology advances and more investments are made in the field, public convenience and acceptance of the asset class with grow. Many of the risks will still be prevalent, hence the need for users to be particularly keen on the security measures they put in place, and the legal requirements that they will need to adhere to as they continue to engage in the handling of the digital assets.

How To Backup Your iPhone – Step-By-Step Guide

Any smartphone can be lost, damaged, or stolen. That’s why backing up your phone is always recommended. 

Don’t worry, it’s fairly easy to backup your iPhone! Just follow our step-by-step guide and get your data protected no matter what happens. 

Below you will find the two most common methods for backup: via iCloud or iTunes. 

iCloud 

iCloud is an included feature on every iPhone (with at least iOS 5). It will back up your iPhone’s data automatically, but first, you have to turn the feature on.

Turning on iCloud Backup:

  1. Connect your device to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Tap Settings > iCloud > Backup.
  3. Turn on iCloud Backup if it isn’t already turned on.
  4. Make sure you are on a WiFi connection and tap Back Up Now
  5. Check your backup by tapping Settings > iCloud > Storage > Manage Storage, and then select your device. You should see your latest backup listed. 

The first 5GB of files with iCloud Backup are free. If you want more than 5GB of storage in your iCloud backup, you’ll have to pay Apple a monthly fee. 

iTunes

Backing up via iTunes to your computer is pretty straight forward. To backup using iTunes, you need the following: 

  • A computer (PC or Mac) running iTunes. 
  • Allow your iPhone to communicate with your computer — either through Wi-Fi or by connecting the devices with a USB cord. 

Steps for iTunes Backup

  1. Open iTunes
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer
  3. Click File > Devices > Backup or click “Backup Up Now” from Summary page. 

For any other smartphone inquiries, check out our blog and or products

How to Restart or Factory Reset your iPhone – Step-by-Step Guide

There are many reasons why you’ll want to return your iOS device to factory settings. Maybe you want to sell or give it to someone, or troubleshoot some issues with your iPhone. Whatever it may be, there are a few methods to reset your iPhone. 

Below you’ll learn about three different types of resetting your iPhone — from a simple reset to the most drastic method, this guide will provide you the exact steps. 

It covers all iPhone models so it doesn’t matter if you own the latest, iPhone 11 Pro, or an iPhone 6S. 

Soft Reset 

This is the easiest method for a quick reboot. You just have to turn your iPhone on and off again to do a soft reset. 

  1. Turn off your phone: Drag the slider across, and your device will turn off. 
  2. Turn on your phone: Press down the power button to turn the phone back on. 

Power Off Slider 

For iPhones released after the original iPhone SE or iPhone 5S

  • Hold down the side button on your phone until the slider appears. 

For iPhone SE, iPhone 5 device or older

  • Hold down the button on the top of the device to get the slider 

Force Restart 

Apple uses the term Force Restart as a more serious restart for your iPhone if your device has frozen or it just won’t turn on. 

No worries, you won’t lose any data by Force Restart. Instead, it’ll just force your device to turn off and on again. 

Method for iPhone 11 series, iPhone XS series, iPhone X, iPhone SE (2020), iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus:

  • Quickly press and release the volume up button, and then do the same with the volume down button. 
  • Now press and hold the power button until the Apple logo appears.

Method for iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

  • Press and hold the volume down button and the wake button on the right-hand side of the phone. 
  • Do this until the Apple logo appears, and then release both buttons.

Method for iPhone 6S series, original iPhone SE and older devices

  • Press and hold down both the wake button (that could be on the right-hand side of the top edge of the device) and the home button below the screen.
  • Do that until the Apple logo appears. 

Once your device has rebooted, you will have completed a Force Restart.

Factory Reset 

Factory Reset is the most extreme method of resetting a device. It’s essentially erasing all your traces on your iPhone and wiping clean everything you did with it — account info, apps, media, and everything else you can think of. 

A factory reset will turn back to the time when your device was released from, well, the factory. 

Backup your iPhone first 

Just in case you change your mind, you’ll want to keep all of that data stored somewhere. 

Backup your data into the iCloud, either thru your iPhone or using a PC or Mac to access iTunes. 

Need to know more? Here’s our blog on How-To Backup Your iPhone 

Now, let’s factory reset your iPhone

The process is fairly simple, especially now you’ve backed up your phone.

  1. Tap Settings > General > Reset
  2. Tap ‘Erase all content and settings’
  3. Enter passcode/Face ID/fingerprint
  4. Tap ‘Erase iPhone/iPad’
  5. Enter Apple ID password
  6. Your iPhone/iPad will now factory reset

For any other smartphone inquiries, check out our blog and or products

5 Ways to Recover Deleted Files on Android Phone

Have you ever lost data from your Android phone?

Data such as SMS text messages, Message Attachments, Call History, Contacts, Photos, Videos, Audio, WhatApp and Documents?

Here’s an outline of the best Android Data Recovery software out there:

FonePaw

It recovers:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Audios
  • WhatsApp – Group and Individual Conversation, Photos, Audios and Videos
  • Text messages
  • Contacts
  • Call Logs
  • Documents – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, HTML, RAR ZIP and more

Features:

  1. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. Accidental Deletion, OS Crash, Without Backup, SD Card Issue, SIM Card not working, Rooting Error, ROM Flashing, and Virus Attack
  2. It supports over 6,000 Phone Models (Android 2.3 to Android 9.0)
  3. It can extract data from broken Android and fix bricked phones
  4. You can recover files from Internal Memory, Android SD Card and SIM Card
  5. It works at high speed, and you can preview the deleted data before recovery
  6. You can backup your Android data onto computer and then restore it completely or selectively

User Guide:

4 simple steps https://support.fonepaw.com/hc/en-us/articles/360023563272

iCare (Free)

It recovers:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Files
  • Music
  • Calendar
  • Chats
  • Notes
  • Reminders
  • Bookmarks
  • Text messages
  • Contacts
  • And more

Features:

  1. It’s Free
  2. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. Deletion/Format/Factory Reset, System Crash/Virus Attack, Denied Accessibility and Unexpected Power Outage
  3. Supports all Android Operating Systems
  4. Supports all Android Devices
  5. Android Internal Memory recovery
  6. Files can be previewed before recovering them
  7. If your device has been physically damaged or data has been overwritten, then it will most likely not be recovered

Download:

https://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-MobiSaver-for-Android-Free/3000-2094_4-76105118.html

Jihosoft 

It recovers:

  • SMS messages
  • Call Logs
  • Gallery photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Audios
  • WhatsApp and Viber chat history
  • Documents

Features:

  1. Free Trial
  2. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. accidental deletion, factory reset, system crash, ROM flash, rooting error, broken or lock screen, virus attack, etc.
  3. Android Internal Memory and memory card recovery
  4. It supports 6,000+ Android Phones and Tablets
  5. Supports Android Operating Systems 2.1 to 9.0

User Guide:

3 simple steps https://www.jihosoft.com/android/android-phone-recovery-user-guide.html

MyJad

It recovers:

  • SMS Messages
  • Contacts
  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Audios
  • And more

Features:

  1. Free Trial
  2. You can preview the files before recovery
  3. High-speed recovery
  4. It makes a copy to your PC
  5. Backs up Messages and contacts in a .txt file format
  6. Backs up Photos as PNG, JPG, GIF, BMP
  7. Backs up Audio and Video as MP3, WMV, MP4, 3GP, MOV, 3G2, SWF, AVI etc.

Dr. Fone

It recovers:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Music
  • Contacts
  • Messages
  • Call Logs
  • Documents
  • WhatsApp messages – for rooted devices
  • And more

Features:

  1. Recovers data from 6,000+ Android Devices. See the list of supported devices https://drfone.wondershare.com/reference/android-data-recovery.html
  2. It recovers data you lost due to, e.g. Accidental Deletion, System Crash, Forgotten Password, SD Card Issue, Rooting Error, ROM Flashing, Damaged, Not Responding, Black Screen and Factory Reset
  3. Can recover from broken Android phones and tablets
  4. Over 50 Million customers
  5. Three recovery modes:
  • From Android Internal Storage
  • From Broken Android
  • From Android SD Card

User Guide:

https://drfone.wondershare.com/guide/android-data-recovery.html

3 Ways to Remove iCloud Lock without Password

When a person buys an iPhone, they create an Apple ID and Password (Lock Activation details). When done, the iPhone locks itself to this identifier information. This is for security reasons; only they know the Identifier/Lock Activation details.

Scenario: Person buys a USED iPhone that is left locked by the previous owner, that is, the iPhone contains the previous person’s iCloud Activation Lock details – their Apple ID and Password.

Problem: How to unlock it?

Answers:

Way 1: Ask the previous owner to disable the Activation lock from their end

You must ask he/she to:

  1. Login into icloud.com/find with their Apple ID
  2. Click ‘Find my’ button and select ‘All Devices’ and then select the appropriate iPhone
  3. Click on ‘Erase iPhone/iPad’ and then click ‘Remove from Account’

Way 2: Ask Apple to Remove iCloud Activation Lock for You

You can either Call Apple Support or Visit your local Apple Store. 

If the iPhone is new:

 You will need to show that you own the phone, i.e. proof of purchase showing the serial number of the iPhone and your name.

If the iPhone is second hand:

 If you’ve bought a used iPhone, you will need to show proof that ownership was transferred to you from the seller. You will have to provide the sale transaction receipt/proof of payment.

Way 3: Use Third-Party products?

Be careful when choosing third-parties offering unlock services. Some may try to exploit vulnerabilities in Apple’s operating software. Be careful when choosing.

The following is a list of third-party unlock services:

  • LockWiper
  • iCloudin
  • Official iPhone Unlock
  • Open My iCloud
  • Doulci iCloud Unlocking Tool

Have a read of these services

8 Ways to fix WhatsApp Voice Messages Problem

The following includes ways to fix the WhatsApp Voice message Problem:

  1. Turn up the volume on your phone
    If your WhatsApp messages are not playing check your phone volume.
  2. Restart your Phone
    If your WhatsApp messages are not playing or not recording, try restarting your phone.
  3. Check WhatsApp Microphone Permissions
    If you’re not able to record WhatsApp voice messages, check if your WhatsApp has permission to use the Microphone.
    On Android: Go to Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Permissions > Microphone (turn on) > Restart your Phone
    On iPhone: Go to Settings > scroll down to WhatsApp > Microphone (turn on) > Restart your iPhone
  4. WhatsApp Update
    Check to see if there is an update for WhatsApp available in the Play Store/App Store. You could also try uninstalling and reinstalling WhatsApp.
  5. Check your Proximity Sensor
    If you can’t play WhatsApp messages, something might be covering the Proximity Sensor on your phone, e.g. your screen protector. The Proximity Sensor is located at the top of your phone. Google ‘proximity sensor’ for an image.
  6. Turn off any other Apps that use the Microphone
    If you are unable to record WhatsApp voice messages, turn off any other Apps on your phone that use the Microphone.
  7. Clear Cache
    The cache is where data is stored so that if a request for the same data is made at any point in the future, it loads it faster.

Try clearing the WhatsApp Cache, as follows:
On Android: Go to Settings > Apps > WhatsApp > Storage > Clear cache > Restart your Phone

How to Recover Data from Broken Android Phone?

Like most other people, you certainly carry an Android smartphone. What if your Android smartphone falls into the water and gets damaged? What if your smartphone breaks into pieces? How do you recover your precious data from a broken Android phone? 

This guide will help you recover data from broken Android phones with ease. The pain of losing your mobile phone might be there, but you can still retain your precious data if you follow one of the methods mentioned below:

Method 1: Using USB Cable

 When your phone screen or your phone breaks, you can use a USB cable to recover data with ease. Even when your phone display and screen might not work, a USB cable will come in handy to recover data.

 To recover data from a broken Android phone using a USB cable, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Attach your USB data cable to your broken Android smartphone. 
  2. Wait until your PC installs the necessary drivers. Your smartphone will now appear as a new driver.
  3. Navigate to My Computer and find your Android smartphone.
  4. Double click on your smartphone name to find all the multimedia files stored in your internal and external memory.
  5. Select all the items that you want to restore. Copy the items and paste them into your desired location.

This method is suitable for recovering multimedia and document files only. You cannot retrieve call logs, text messages, notes, or contacts using this method.

Method 2: Using third-party applications

If you want to recover important call logs, messages, notes, contacts, etc. from a broken Android phone, you can use third-party applications to do so.

Gihosoft

Gihosoft Android Data Recovery Free Software is useful to recover data after accidental deletion, virus intrusion, rooting, restoring factory setting, and also in cases of broken Android phones. To recover data from a broken Android phone using Gihosoft, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Download Gihosoft Android File Recovery Software for Windows or Mac. 
  2. Install the software on your desktop.
  3. Launch the software on your desktop by clicking the software icon. An interface pops up on the screen.
  4. Click Next and click Connect your Android phone to PC. Make sure that the USB debugging mode is toggled on.
  5. Your Android phone recognises the Gihosoft program. Click Start on your desktop to search for the files that you want to get back.
  6. Preview the files that you selected to recover. Click Recover to retrieve data from the broken Android phone.

Note: 

This method works when your Android phone’s touch screen works partially. If the phone’s touchscreen stops working altogether, use the Android Device Manager to unlock your screen remotely and put the mobile into USB debugging mode.

Android Data Extraction

Android Data Extraction is another third-party software specifically designed to recover data from a broken Android phone. Available both on Windows and Mac, it works with over 600 smartphone models. 

To recover data from a broken Android phone using Android Data Extraction software:

  1. Download and install the Android Data Extraction software in your Windows or Mac PC. 
  2. Launch the software by clicking the software’s icon. An interface pops up on the screen.
  3. Connect your damaged smartphone to your PC using a USB data cable.
  4. Select the kind of data that you want to recover. You can choose to recover messages, music, contacts, videos, documents, etc.
  5. Choose the kind of problem that you are facing with your smartphone. Select the black/broken screen option for this case.
  6. Enter your device name and model and click Next.
  7. Reboot your Android phone by pressing the Home, Volume Down, and Power buttons together. The software downloads the necessary recovery package in this duration. This may take some time depending on your internet connection.
  8. Select all the files from the software interface and click Recover. Doing this saves all the recovered data into your PC.

Broken Android Data Recovery

The Broken Android Data Recovery is another application that can help you recover data from a broken Android phone with ease. It helps extract contacts, SMS, call logs, music, photos, videos, and WhatsApp messages from the internal memory or SD card.

To recover data from a broken Android phone using the Broken Android Data Recovery software, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Download and install the Broken Android Data Recovery software on your Windows or Mac desktop.
  2. Connect your damaged smartphone to your PC using a USB data cable.
  3. Select a proper mode for data recovery. If you have a black/cracked screen or if your screen is unresponsive, click on the Start button.
  4. Input your device name and device model from the drop-down menu. 
  5. Enter the download mode by following the on-screen prompts. A repair package is downloaded to your phone so that the existing data can be scanned out.
  6. Press and hold the Volume Down, Home and Power buttons at the same time to reboot your phone. Hold the Volume Up button to enter the download mode. In the download mode, the program scans your device for data. An interface appears on the screen.
  7. Choose the kind of data to extract and click Recover. The extracted data will be saved into your desktop.

How to erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone

If you are a tech geek or someone who wants to regularly upgrade your phone to buy a newer, better phone, then you might need to erase data from your Samsung Galaxy phone. There might also be cases when you need to send over your mobile phone for service or repair.

Your mobile contains a lot of private and personal pictures, videos, chats, messages, and music. You would not want any stranger to look at them. So, this guide will help you erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone with ease.

Method 1: Factory Reset

A factory reset is the best option to clear everything on your phone and revert it to the initial state when you first bought it. However, before you perform a full factory reset of your Samsung Galaxy phone, make sure to take a full back up.

Using the Settings menu – Soft reset

  1. Open the Apps menu in your Samsung Galaxy phone. The Apps menu is a menu of all apps installed on your device.
  2. Tap the Settings icon to open the Settings
  3. Scroll down and tap Backup and Reset. If this option in not in the Settings menu, go to General management > Reset. In some phones, the Backup and Reset section is under this menu.
  4. Tap Factory Data Reset. A new page opens up.
  5. Tap Reset Device.
  6. Tap Erase Everything. For older versions, this button may appear as Delete All.

It takes a while for your device to reset. The Samsung Galaxy phone will restart once the reset process is complete.

Recovery Mode – Hard reset

  1. Turn off your Samsung Galaxy. This is essential to access recovery mode in your boot menu.
  2. Press and hold down the Home, Volume, and Power buttons at the same time.
    This powers up your device, and you can see the Android system recovery On some devices, you might have to press the Volume up button instead of the Volume down button.
  3. Select the Wipe Data/ Factory Reset
  4. Press the Power The power key acts as the Enter button.
  5. Confirm your action by selecting the Yes – Delete All User Data option on the screen that appears next. Select this option using the Volume up/down

This action resets your device and erases all data in it. It takes a while for your device to reboot. The Samsung Galaxy phone will restart once the reset process is complete.

A factory reset erases all of your personal information and downloaded applications. You cannot recover this data once it is lost. It is strongly recommended that you backup of all your data correctly before resetting your Samsung Galaxy phone.

Method 2: Third-party Apps

You can also utilise some third-party applications to erase data from your Samsung Galaxy phone.

SafeWiper

SafeWiper is a desktop software that helps remove data from Samsung Galaxy phones completely. It wipes out all sensitive files, unused disk space, etc. To erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone using SafeWiper:

  1. Download the SafeWiper software from its official website.
  2. Install the software on your computer.
  3. Connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to your PC using a USB data cable. The software automatically detects the phone.
  4. Enable USB debugging on your Samsung Galaxy phone.
  5. Select the Erase All Data option in the SafeWiper software, from the four available options.
  6. Click the Erase Now button to begin erasing.
  7. Type Erase in the given box to confirm the action.
  8. Click the Settings item to choose the level of wiping. You can choose one from Low Level, Medium Level, and High-Level Wiping.

The erasing process takes some time to complete. Do not disconnect your Mobil from the computer in this duration. Once your data is erased from your Samsung Galaxy phone, the phone will be like new.

Dr. Fone toolkit – Android Data Eraser

Dr. Fone toolkit is another desktop software that can help erase everything from your Samsung Galaxy phone. To erase data from Samsung Galaxy phone using Dr. Fone toolkit:

  1. Download the Fone toolkit from its official website.
  2. Install the toolkit on your computer.
  3. Connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to your PC using a USB data cable. The software automatically detects the phone.
  4. Enable USB debugging on your Samsung Galaxy phone.
  5. Click Erase All Data in the pop-up that appears.
  6. Type Delete in the given box to confirm the action.
  7. Choose the Factory Reset option that appears after a few minutes. In this stage, the data is erased completely.

The factory reset option takes a few minutes to complete. Once your data is erased from your Samsung Galaxy phone, the phone will be like new.

How to Speed Up iPhone

Just like human beings, iPhones too age with time. With ageing, phones slow down. Especially when new models come out, you might realise that your iPhone is comparatively slower than the newer ones. Instead of jumping straight to conclusions and buying a new one, read on to find how you can speed up your iPhone.

Does Apple deliberately slow iPhone?

Yes. Apple has admitted that it slows down older iPhones, to avoid battery problems. If you have an old version of iPhone and if you have updated your phone to the most recent iOS version, chances are, you might be experiencing slowdown issues.

Apple claims that the reason for this is to preserve the power and lifespan of batteries. You can, fortunately, turn off the performance management feature to take care of slowdown issues. To do this:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Battery.
  3. Tap Battery Health.
  4. Scroll down to the Peak Performance Capability subheading and tap Disable.

How to speed up iPhone?

Free up space

One of the main reasons why your iPhone might be slowing down is because it is filled to the brim with photos, videos, and apps. You can lighten a load of your device by deleting unused apps, random photos, and lengthy never to be seen videos.

To see how much storage you are using on iOS11:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage.
  2. Select Manage Storage under the Storage

A colourful chart pops up on the screen. The chart shows the space you are using and the free space you have remaining. You can also see some recommendations to save storage below the chart.

For the older versions, you can manually go through the applications that are on your iPhone and get rid of the unused ones. To delete an app:

  1. Press and hold on the app icon. The icon starts jumping around.
  2. Tap on the X on the top right of the icon to delete it.

To delete multiple applications at once:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage.
  2. Tap Manage Storage under Storage.
  3. Tap on the name of the app that you don’t need, and click the Delete App option on the next screen.
  4. Repeat the process for deleting all apps that you don’t need.

You should skim through all your photos/videos and offload the unnecessary ones. Another great idea to reduce storage usage on your phone is to delete old conversations and large attachments.

Use HEIF and HEVC formats.

iOS 11 introduces the HEIF (High-Efficiency Image Format) format for photos and HEVC (High-Efficiency Video Coding) format for videos. If you are like other normal smartphone users, photos, and videos occupy the most space in your iPhone. The HEIF and HEVC formats save your photos and videos in smaller file sizes, thus reducing storage space and increasing speed. To enable high efficiency:

  1. Go to Settings > Camera > Formats.
  2. Choose High Efficiency.

Note: Only devices with at least A 10 Fusion chip (iPhone 7 and later versions) can only snap and save photos and videos with the HIEF or HEVC format.

Update iOS

Updating iOS to the latest version can give you mixed results in terms of speed. Some iOS upgrade versions might introduce efficient code while some versions might add new features that can degrade iPhone speed. The best solution is to review the latest changes in the release and upgrade it only if you are sure.

iOS 12 promises to boost speed in new devices, so upgrading to iOS 12 would be a safe bet. To check if your iOS is updated:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
  2. Check for a new iOS version.

Update Applications

If you have updated your iOS version, you might as well upgrade all your apps to the latest version too. Old apps might not run as smoothly or efficiently in the new iOS version. To update all apps to the newest version:

  1. Open App Store.
  2. Tap Updates.
  3. Tap Update All.

Disable automatic updates

By default, iOS runs processes and applications in the background. This might seem to be useful in some cases, but automatic updates hog your device’s CPU and battery. To speed up the iPhone, you should disable automatic updates. You can update your apps as and when required via App Store.

To disable automatic updates:

  1. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Store.
  2. Go to the Automatic Downloads
  3. Toggle Updates to Off.

Disable background app refresh

Apart from updating automatically in the background, apps also refresh their content in the background. For example, Facebook. Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media handles update in the background automatically without having to refresh it manually. It is helpful for sure, but it occupies CPU cycles. Hence, to speed up the iPhone, it is better to disable background app refresh option.

To disable background app refresh:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh.
  2. Tap the toggle switch off.

You can also enable Background App Refresh at the top and turn it off for individual apps from the given list.

Turn off app notifications

Notifications can help you stay updated on the messages arriving on your phone. However, you do not always need them. For example, you do not need notifications every time someone posts something on Facebook. Turning on notifications for all applications can slow down your iPhone significantly. Hence, to turn off notifications:

  1. Go to Settings > Notifications.
  2. Toggle Notifications to Off for all applications that do not require notifications.

Disable Spotlight searching

Spotlight helps you search across your iPhone with ease. To do so, however, it has to index all items on your iPhone. This can occasionally slow things down. To speed up your iPhone, you can try switching Spotlight off. To do so:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search.
  2. Set all search result items to Off.

Clear Safari cache

Safari app might notice more slowdown than the other apps on your iPhone. This occurs because of full cache memory. To clear Safari cache:

  1. Go to Settings > General.
  2. Tap Clear History and Website Data.

Clearing Safari cache should speed up the Safari app. Web pages may take longer time slightly to load initially, but this problem will be solved as soon as cache starts filling up.

Test your web connection

If Safari and other applications are still running slowly, then the problem is not with your iPhone but with your web connection. It does not matter how fast your iPhone is. If your connection to the internet is weak, then it is sure to slow things down considerably.

Use a speed test app such as Ookla to check your internet speed. A slow internet connection might be the reason why your apps that require an active internet connection are slowed down.

Reduce motion effects

If you have turned off everything and still need a bit more speed in your iPhone, then disable some motion effects is a good idea. To do so:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.
  2. Set Reduce Motion to On.

Reducing motion will undoubtedly provide a slight speed boost to your iPhone.

Turn off location services

Turning on location services is handy for apps like Maps and Facebook. However, Location Services sucks up battery power and reduces performance. It is hence desirable to turn on location services only when required.

To turn location services off:

  1. Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services.
  2. Set Location Services to Off.

Reboot

After removing unnecessary apps and disabling unnecessary settings, you should reboot your iPhone. Rebooting refreshes the memory of the iPhone and enables it to start from scratch. To reboot your iPhone:

  1. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button at the top.
  2. Slide the Slide to Power Off control slider to power down the iPhone.
  3. Hold the Sleep/Wake button again to start the phone.

When in doubt, reboot your iPhone from time to time to refresh phone memory and speed it up.

How to switch from iPhone to Android?

So, you have decided to switch from the green land of iPhone to the promised land of Android. You can be sure that the switch is going to be as challenging as moving into a new country, alone.

Worry not. This guide is all set to make your transition easier. Follow the steps in this guide, and you can sync all your contacts, files, pictures, and videos to your new Android phone with ease. If you are very much invested in the iPhone fraternity, the switch is going to be difficult, but the final result is worth it. The question revolving around which is better; Android or iPhone, paves the way for another discussion at another time. Since you have already decided to switch to Android, let us make the process easier.

Using your new phones’ settings

Before discussing the ways to move over bits and parts of your iPhone data to your new Android phone, let us take a look at the features that your new phone provides.

Most Android devices have inbuilt apps that serve the purpose of easing out the process of shifting critical data from old phone to a new one. When you set up the new phone, you might be asked if you want to copy files from your old (Android or Apple) phone to a new one. This process makes the transition a lot easier.

If you buy a Samsung phone of the recent version, you will get a USB-OTG connector in the box which lets you plug in your iPhone to the new phone. With this, you can copy a lot of files and data to the new phone with ease.

If this process does not work, read on to know how you can transition from iPhone to Android in a breeze.

How to transfer contacts from iPhone to Android?

Before selling your iPhone, you will surely want to transfer your contacts to the new phone. The complexity of moving contacts depends on how you have stored it.

Google Account

Are you syncing your contacts regularly with your Google account? If the answer is yes, you can log in with the same Gmail account on your new phone to easily sync your contacts.

iCloud

If you have used iCloud to store your contacts, then the process of transferring contacts from iPhone to a new Android device is pretty simple too. To transfer contacts using iCloud:

1.     Turn on Contacts under Settings > Your name > iCloud on your iPhone.

2.     Log in to iCloud website on your computer.

3.     Click Contacts.

4.     Click the gear button on the bottom left side of the screen.

5.     Select Export vCard.

6.     Log into Gmail and tap the Gmail icon on the top left side of the screen.

7.     Click Contacts.

8.     Click More.

9.     Tap Import.

Third-party apps

You can also use third-party apps like My Contacts Backup app to transfer your contacts from iPhone to Android devices. Install the app, launch it, and carry out the steps that follow.

How to sync your calendar from iPhone to Android?

Syncing your calendar entries from iPhone to Android is also extremely easy if you have been doing so regularly.

Google Account

If you have been syncing your calendar with your Google account, you can transfer your calendar from iPhone to Android. Log in from the Google account in your new Android device, and your calendar is synced automatically.

iCloud

You can also use your iCloud account to transfer your calendar entries to the new Android device.

1.     Go to Settings > Your name > iCloud on your iPhone.

2.     Toggle on Calendars.

3.     Log in to iCloud website on your computer.

4.     Click Calendar.

5.     Click the Share Calendar button beside the desired calendar.

6.     Tick on the Public Calendar checkbox and copy the sharing URL.

7.     Paste the copied URL on a new tab of a browser.

8.     Change the term webcal in the URL to http and press the Enter key. The web browser downloads a file with random characters. This file is a copy of your iCloud Calendar entries.

9.     Save the file to a convenient folder.

10. Log in to Google Calendar in your web browser.

11. Click the plus button on the right of Other Calendars in the Google Calendar interface. Select the Import option.

12. Select the downloaded, exported calendar file.

13. Click the Import button to upload the downloaded file.

The imported entries are now listed in the Google Calendar web interface. Once you log in via this Gmail account, the new entries are also synced to your Android device.

How to transfer your photos and videos from iPhone to Android?

You can deploy many ways to transfer your precious photos from your iPhone to Android. You should follow the best approach to prevent the loss of your precious photos in the process of transferring them from iPhone to Android.

Conventional way

The conventional way of transferring photos and videos from iPhone to Android is to copy all your photos from the iPhone to a computer and transfer them to your new Android phone. This caveman approach works for sure, but it is the most time-consuming way to move your photos.

Google Photos app

You can use the iOS Google Photos app to effortlessly transfer your photos and videos from your old iPhone to your new Android phone.

1.     Download the iOS Google Photos app.

2.     Turn on the backup feature.

3.     Connect to a Wi-Fi network to ensure that your photos are uploaded to your Google account with ease.

4.     Download the Photos app on your new Android phone when all your photos from iPhone are uploaded.

5.     Set up the Photos app on Android with the same Google account.

All your photos and videos are synced to your Google account automatically. You can use Google Photos syncing as a way to always save and update your photos/videos.

How to transfer music files from iPhone to Android?

You would also want to transfer your saved playlists or music to your Android account. There are several ways to do that too.

Assuming that you are using iTunes, make sure that you download any music that you have purchased. Since iTunes music and audio files are protected by DRM, you might need to use the Apple Music App, or some other third-party applications to transfer music to Android.

Apple Music App

Apple has released the Apple Music app for Android devices. Just like the iOS version, the app allows you to create your personalised playlists and purchase iTunes music. Apple Music app also allows you to download tracks for offline listening. 

To enjoy Apple Music on Android devices:

1.     Download and launch the Apple Music app.

2.     Choose a membership plan.

3.     Click Start Trial.

4.     Click Use Existing ID. Enter the Apple ID and the password to log in. If you do not have an Apple account, click Create New Apple ID.

Now, you can easily enjoy your Apple Music on your Android devices, create personalised playlists, and download offline tracks.

Convert to MP3 and transfer to Android

Several Android devices do not support the Apple Music app. Hence, an alternative option to using the app is to convert Apple Music to MP3. Use one of the below-mentioned applications to convert iPhone music to MP3:

1.     TuneFab Apple Music Converter

2.     Apple Mac Soft

3.     Sidify Apple Music Converter

How to transfer text messages from iPhone to Android?

Transferring text messages is a lot trickier than transferring photos or videos. Some people like to save precious text conversions intact and transfer them to their new smartphones. It is possible using the iSMS2droid app. This method might not necessarily work for everyone as it requires you to back up your SMS to iTunes and to dig around to find the right file to convert.  

Another option is to use Samsung Smart Switch or Kies software to restore iPhone backup. Other premium software options allow you to copy text messages, contacts, photos, and call logs too. Some applications might work for you, while some might not. Regardless of the option you use, turn iMessage off before making the switch. If you don’t do so, your SMS and MMS messages might still go to your old iPhone if the sender is an iPhone user. Apple sends an iMessage instead of SMS or MMS when it detects that both devices are iOS.

To turn off iMessage:

1.     Go to Settings > Messages.

2.     Toggle iMessage off.

3.     Go to Settings > Facetime and toggle iMessage off.

Can you transfer apps from iPhone to Android?

iOS and Android are different to the core. Hence, the apps that run on them are extremely different too. You cannot transfer apps from iPhone to Android.

Popular apps for social network, games, editing tools, etc. exist both in Android and iPhone. You can check Google Play to ensure that the important apps that you use in the iPhone are available in your new Android phone too.

If the crucial app that you use daily is not available in the Android system, then there are a number of replacements that you can use for the app.

Wrapping up

Yes, the transition to Android from iPhone is surely going to be difficult. Switching to a new platform is tiring, but some tools will make your experience much smoother.

Firstly, you will have to re-download all your applications or leave behind some for good. Transferring everything else is easier as it depends on the cloud solution that you use. You can later download all the required files from the cloud as and when required.

You should also remember to turn off iMessage before leaving behind your iPhone. Avoiding this step might create issues with your SMS delivery.

There are some differences in the user experience of Android and iPhone. Learn the differences below:

Navigation

Navigation on Android differs from that of an iPhone. The Home button always takes you back to the home screen. The Back button takes you back one level, one page, or one screen. It can also be used to back out of apps.

Multitasking or recent apps can be found by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This screen showcases the latest apps that you were using, and you can quickly jump back to an app as and when required.

Customisation

Customisation and widgets in Android differ from that of the iPhone system. Android offers the ability to customise your smartphone and use widgets on your screen.

To customise your phone’s look and feel, tap, and hold an empty section of the home screen. A pop-up menu now allows you to set the wallpaper. You can also add apps, shortcuts, folders, and widgets into your home screen.

Widgets are small windows of applications that can bring new information to you automatically. Not all applications have widgets, but you can hold the empty portion of the home screen to select widgets, and to select how the widgets will appear on your screen.

You can also change the entire aesthetics of your new Android phone by exploring the world of launchers. There are a number of free launchers available, with special effects and styles to choose from.